Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Something to be Mad About

I am sitting here at mid-day, watching a light rain fall outside... not enough to do much good, but still, a rain, so God is listening to us.... and the animals are cooler and very, very happy this morning.  No birds cowering, wings held aloft, under the sapling trees of the henyard, or huddled down into the cool dirt.  Wildings at the feeder, instead of hiding from midday sun, and the air conditioner off all morning, windows open.

So what made me mad?

Not these guys:

The kitty we have seen on our game cam numerous times now, headed for the water bin.

Not our buddy the possum, whom you can just make out through the grass on the left side of the picture... we see it almost every night now.

And WOW, we weren't mad at the idea that we had a fox in the pasture at night, whom we have NEVER seen anywhere around here during the day.  (and are we glad we're locking up the birds tightly!)

Please notice the temperature on the camera capture... it was 54 when I arose this morning, and darn cold out there in shorts and a shirt while doing chores. 

Here's what has me riled.

Two years ago, we decided that one way we could give back to our community was to donate eggs from our chickens to the pantry, which is supported by a thrift store, which, in turn, is supported by volunteers from all of the different churches in the little town two miles from us.

We began taking three or four dozen a week, but have worked up enough that some weeks we have taken as many as six to eight dozen eggs a week, mixing big and little.  I get up on Saturday morning and clean the eggs before I take them.  I enjoy going down there, and visiting with the Saturday volunteers.  When going in during the week sometimes, it is a whole different story, bustling and crowded, but on Saturday it's quiet, and I can stop and have a chat with the volunteers or with Dorothy, the Saturday manager.  We have cared for our chickens in the bitter cold of winter (when we had to carry warm water from the house) and through the horrid heat of this summer, when we watered up to five times a day on bad days to keep them comfortable. 

So... why am I mad?

Thursday I got up and packed all the eggs... I actually stopped and bought two dozen because I was two dozen short (Thursday and Friday's eggs) because we were going out of town.  I had forgotten that the thrift store does not open on Thursday.  I came home and put all the eggs back in the fridge before going on my errands. 

Saturday, of course, we were in Ames.

So yesterday morning, I got up and made sure all the eggs were clean, and the dozens had mixed big and little eggs.  I packed 9 1/2 dozen into sacks and added all the magazines (remember I'm a magazine addict) that I was donating and loaded everything into the car.  I got down to the thrift store, and went in the back door, and put three and a half dozen in the fridge.  Then I went back for the rest.  I noticed that the food cart was packed and in the hallway, which meant that some needy person was there to pick up a donation of food.

As I walked back in and started up the stairs, I met a volunteer coming down.  She asked me what I was doing, and I told her that I had eggs to donate... and perhaps some could be put on the cart.  She asked me "Are they homegrown or store bought?"  (remember, there were two dozen store bought in there, too)

I answered... "Homegrown" and started to say "but...." to explain there were some store bought too.

She interrupted me and said this:

"Oh.... the people who come here for help always ask us if the eggs are home grown or store bought.  They really do not want the home grown, and usually don't take them, so I just take them home and use them".

Folks, I was totally nonplussed.  I mean, I was just flabbergasted.  I was so surprised, I let her take the sack out of my arms and go upstairs with it.  Thank heavens I had thought to take a dozen out for my ex-daughter in law, whom I was going to drive to meet to give Nathan's school clothes to her.

For one thing, I myself have seen a sign on the refrigerator... "One dozen for a small order, and two dozen eggs for a large order" .... but if I thought that all of our hard effort was going so that the volunteers can have free eggs... well, it was extremely disappointing.  I did not want to cause a big scene on the steps, and I don't know any of the volunteers from the weekdays. 

I was upset enough to call Keith and tell him, and his answer was "Don't take any more down there".

However, I am going to go in Saturday morning and sit down with Dorothy, the Saturday manager, and find out what is really going on.  If it's true that the folks coming there would rather not eat "organic eggs" (meaning that they are NOT the white, uniform sized eggs from the grocery store) then I'll quit taking them.  There is a food kitchen now in Basehor, five miles away, and they are open only 1 1/2 hours per week, but have a steady stream of folks coming there.  I can always find out if they would want the eggs, so that is one option.

I can keep my family and my friends stocked with eggs, especially good friends Troy and Kathy to our south, so that is another option.

We can contact Harvestors, and see if there are other options.

In order to sell off the farm, Kansas has stringent guidelines that must be followed.  I can't see that it would be any kind of money-making thing for us, and besides, that's not what we are about here.

I'm still very disappointed, and would still like to sit down Saturday and talk about it.  I'm also still deciding whether or not I will be taking eggs there in the future.  We have always tried to help the food pantry, and patronized the thrift store regularly... but I guess I'm just still very surprised.  I guess if I thought the volunteers themselves were very needy and needed the eggs... it would be one thing, but to casually say "We're using the eggs that you bring for the needy ourselves"... well, it was just an eye-opener. 

So, what do you think?  Should I still take eggs there? 

I have ten new pullets coming on... so they have to go somewhere!


  1. When you are in need I can't image that being a question in my vocabulary. I think we have a fox in the food pantry

  2. Well, I read your story and it burned my biscuits also. Really?!! I have people clamoring for my "homegrown" eggs and have to turn people away. Regardless of whether people are actually asking the homegrown vs. storebought question (I question that!) and turning down homegrown, then the volunteers should have told you that your eggs were going to the staff rather than the needy.

    Having said that, I'd recommend you take a deep breath and talk to Dorothy about the comment and your concerns. She may not even know that the staff are taking the eggs. See what she says and then make a decision. This may be an opportunity for her staff to educate people on how much better "homegrown" eggs are.

    I hope you'll let us know how it turns out.

  3. S, thank you for your comments... (I know it must be you and I hope you are feeling better)... I have often been asked why I don't sell eggs to friends, etc., but we wanted to do this as a mission, our mission to help people. It just really sat me back on my heels.... I love chickens but taking care of them right is HARD work, and if I thought it was all just a game ... well... and Trinity.. I appreciated the "fox in the food pantry" comment very much!

  4. Maybe you can find a family thru your church or local school that would know of a needy family or two. I would talk to person in charge to see if they knew volunteers were taking the eggs home. If they knew they were not going to be used as you intended they should have told you up front.

  5. I don't know if that makes me more mad or sad! I cannot imagine preferring "store" eggs over farm eggs, but you never know......
    However, I do have a close relative who does volunteer for such things, and does not think twice about helping herself to some of the better donated goods. In this case it's clothing meant for shelters, but the ethics are questionable in any case.
    Do ask where your eggs are going, but I am guessing a few will find their way home with the wrong people regardless. Perhaps you could share the eggs on an individual basis instead.

  6. I'm really sorry over this whole situation - the "needy" who aren't needy enough to be willing to eat whatever is offered without being fussy about color or size, the volunteer(s) who think it's okay to take what others have donated for the needy; your generous heart and hard work not being used as intended. It's wrong on so many levels. But one thing I know for certain; God rewards the cheerful giver, even if the receiver's heart isn't pure. By all means, talk to Dorothy, in case she isn't aware of and doesn't condone volunteers helping themselves. Then see if the facility at Basehor could use them; a facility that provides MEALS to the hungry would be a better route than one who provides foodstuffs for people who may not appreciate the gift. I also think it is a wonderful idea to provide eggs to family and friends; that is community-giving and helps people probably more than you know.


  7. That's crazy! I would so much rather have home-grown any day of the week! I can't believe your eggs weren't appreciated.

  8. That is the craziest thing ever! I know there would be people who would be so greatful for homegrown eggs. Where are they?

  9. I would agree that people are crazy to prefer store bought, but some people are just weird that way. Also, ask the person you've developed the relationship with. If they really are just going to volunteers, I'd look into the other shelter or family and friends.

  10. Oh dear!...........You remember when I said we had over 300 hens, and got rid a couple of years ago? Due to illness? Well anyway, one day, a man came to our door, he own`s a Guest house nearby. he stated that he would wish to buy our eggs as they were Organic, (which they were), he asked a price, I quoted. he asked to see them, I let him. he said(now get this!) "But they`re not the same colour, and not even the same size!.......I want brown eggs, all the same size!......" I stood for a moment, and then said, (I was very polite,)" Go to the supermarket, and buy them there!" he replied, "But hey are`nt as fresh or as good, they run over the pan." I then said, "well its up to you, I dont have to sell them!"
    It was at this point that I asked the man if he wanted them or not, he hummed and harr`d! I then lost the plot! I took the box off him and bade him farewell!(actually, it was a bit more verbal than that!)
    People these days are pretty thick, they ar led by the snouts, by huge conglomerates, and fooled. What can I say?

  11. The brainwashing is everywhere. Please talk to Dorothy before you decide, but I'm not surprised if people were turning the eggs down, and it just makes me sick. When I began selling our eggs here at Chicken Scratch, I ran into two different kinds of people. The kind that is extremely grateful and enthusiastic, and the kind that is just positive that anything that's homegrown or handmade has something wrong with it. For those, it has to come out of the store to be accepted. Of course, I never knew which kind the people were until I handed them the eggs. The ones whose faces lit up were my kind of people. The ones who looked at them with a "what's wrong with them?" attitude weren't.

    If it's true that the eggs aren't being given out, please find somewhere where they'll be appreciated. It's a shame that they are not being eaten as they should be.

  12. "Oh.... the people who come here for help always ask us if the eggs are home grown or store bought. They really do not want the home grown, and usually don't take them, so I just take them home and use them".

  13. That would have pissed me off. And I don't think I would have held back what I would have told her.

    I would find another avenue for the eggs. Surely a church or organization could give you the name of some really needy folks close to you.

  14. Well, I wouldn't want store eggs if I could have the home grown! And, no, I wouldn't take eggs there again if the volunteers are helping themselves to them! I'll bet there's someone else who would really appreciate them.

  15. I just read this post, after reading today's...and yes, I can see why you're upset!! I would talk to the manager (and even then I might have a hard time trusting that the volunteers weren't taking the eggs) That's just sad! I'm sure there would be plenty of other people who would welcome the eggs. Around here, there's a huge demand for free range, homegrown eggs!

  16. We always take eggs to Church. People lone em ! But, years ago we had too many eggs for mom to use so she would hardboil em and smash them,shells and all, then feed them back to the hens. Dogs also love eggs. I'm sorry SOME people are like that. I'm glad that you found out though. I say give what you can to whomever and feed the rest back to your flock. Feed is toooooooooo high to waste eggs.

  17. We ran into a similar problem a few years ago...we tried to donate some of our organic, grass-fed ground beef to the local fire dept for a spaghetti dinner. They didn't want it because they only wanted premade, packaged meatballs. We offered it to a local food pantry and they refused as well. We said so be it, we have a waiting list of people who are eager to pay $5 a pound for it after all. However a couple of years later the food pantry got new management and they came around begging for donations. We do donate to them now, but I still have mixed feelings about it. I'd say, have a real straight-forward talk with the management (of both places) and do what feels right. Good luck.


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